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8 Top Keyword Research Tools for SEO in 2024

Explore the top keyword research tools for SEO, including SEO.com, Semrush, Ahrefs, Google Trends, and more, complete with costs, pros, cons, FAQs, and expert tips from the SEO.com team.
Last Updated February 7, 2024
a man with glasses holds his hands to his face in front of a sign that says keywords keywords keywords
 

Your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy depends on choosing the right keywords. For that, you need a proven SEO keyword research tool. That’s why we’re compiling this year’s top keyword search tools for SEO. See which platforms made our list below!

8 best keyword research tools for SEO

Explore our picks for the top tools for keyword research below!

1. SEO.com — Best free keyword research tool

 

Cost: Free

SEO.com is one of the best free keyword research tools that can cut your SEO time in half. It includes features like keyword research, site analyzer, traffic analysis, competitor research, and more. You also gain a competitive edge with recommendations to help you climb the rankings faster than competitors.

Pros:

  • Essential tools cut the time spent on SEO tasks
  • Access SEO tools without significantly impacting the marketing budget
  • Actionable recommendations and competitor monitoring
  • Tracks website traffic, keyword rankings, and other metrics to assess SEO effectiveness
  • Free plan with no credit card required for risk-free evaluation

Say 👋 To Your New Favorite SEO Tool

Find keywords, track your rankings, and analyze your competitors all in one place for free!

2. Semrush — Best all-in-one solution

Semrush keyword research tool

Cost: $129.95/month

Semrush is an integrated digital marketing and SEO platform that offers tools and data to help users enhance their online presence and marketing efforts. It includes features like keyword research, site audits, backlink analysis, and competitive research to assist businesses in optimizing their online strategies and improving their website’s visibility.

Pros:

  • All-in-one suite for digital marketing, from SEO to paid advertising
  • In-depth keyword research, plus SEO audits, competitor insights, and more
  • Extensive keyword database
  • Keyword tracking
  • Regular tool updates

Cons:

  • Too expensive for small businesses and individual webmasters
  • Learning curve in understanding the various toolkits

3. Ahrefs — Best SEO toolkit for SEO professionals

Ahrefs keyword research tool

Cost: $99/month

Ahrefs is a web-based SEO tool known for its comprehensive features, including backlink analysis, keyword research, competitive analysis, and site auditing, designed to help users improve their website’s search engine visibility and online marketing efforts. It’s widely used by SEO professionals and website owners to gain insights, optimize their online strategies, and monitor their competition.

Pros:

  • Custom keyword metrics, like traffic potential
  • Keyword search volume tracking, including zero-volume keywords
  • Keyword tracking
  • Large keyword database
  • Additional SEO tools, like audits, competitor research, and more

Cons:

  • Unpopular credit-based pricing model
  • Unlike Ahrefs alternatives, Ahrefs is too expensive for smaller sites and businesses

If you’re not sold on Ahrefs, check out our comparison of Ahrefs vs. Moz.

4. Google Trends — Best for tracking keyword popularity

Google Trends keyword research tool

Cost: Free

Google Trends is a free tool provided by Google that allows users to track and analyze the popularity of search queries and topics over time. Google Trends helps users understand search trends, discover related queries, and make data-driven decisions for content creation and marketing strategies.

Pros:

  • Real-time insights
  • Extensive historical database
  • Keyword comparison
  • Regional keyword data
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Zero keyword metrics
  • No way to save keywords

5. Keywords Everywhere — Best affordable keyword research tool

Keywords Everywhere keyword research tool

Cost: $15/year

Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension and SEO tool that provided keyword data, including search volume and CPC, while users are browsing the web, particularly on search engine result pages and various websites.

Pros:

  • Displays results on other platforms, like YouTube and Google Search Console
  • Provides keyword data in search results
  • Cost-effective pricing

Cons:

  • Lower data accuracy than paid keyword research tools for SEO
  • Fewer features than SEO software suites like Ahrefs or Semrush

6. Google Search Console — Best for monitoring keyword performance data

Google Search Console Keyword Research Tool

Cost: Free

Google Search Console is a free web service by Google that provides website owners and webmasters with tools and reports to monitor and optimize their website’s performance in Google search results. It offers insights into search traffic, indexing, site errors, and site security issues, helping users improve their online presence and address any potential issues affecting their site’s visibility.

Pros:

  • Find keyword opportunities based on your site’s performance
  • Get search performance data, like impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and more

Cons:

  • No keyword metric data unless paired with another SEO keyword tool like Keywords Everywhere
  • Limited to the site owner’s website performance

7. Google Keyword Planner — Best for finding related keywords

Google Keyword Planner keyword research tool

 

Cost: Free

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool within Google Ads used for keyword research and planning advertising campaigns. It provides data on keyword search volume, competition, and forecasts, making it valuable for advertisers, SEO professionals, and content creators looking to optimize their online strategies.

Pros:

  • High data accuracy
  • Access keyword metrics like search volume, competition, and cost
  • Integrates with Google Ads

Cons:

  • Built as a pay-per-click keyword suggestion tool vs. an SEO keyword research tool
  • Database focused more on bottom-of-the-funnel search terms

8. Moz Keyword Explorer — Best for accessing keyword metrics

Moz Keyword Explorer Keyword Research Tool

Cost: $99/month

Moz Keyword Explorer is a keyword research tool by Moz, designed to help users discover and analyze keywords for their SEO and content strategies. It provides data on keyword search volume, difficulty, and competitive analysis, aiding in the selection of effective keywords for improved online visibility and content optimization.

Pros:

  • Access keyword metrics, including opportunity score
  • Get competitor analysis insights
  • View search engine results pages (SERPs) opportunities
  • Includes access to a full SEO software suite

Cons:

  • Higher price than other keyword research tools

Start your research with one of the best SEO keyword research tools — The SEO.com app

Start researching keywords, keeping tabs on competitors, and much more with the free SEO.com app! Sign up for free today to streamline your research and start driving more traffic to your website!

Say 👋 To Your New Favorite SEO Tool

Find keywords, track your rankings, and analyze your competitors all in one place for free!


FAQs about keyword research tools

Learn more about keyword research tools with these FAQs:

What is a keyword research tool?

A keyword research tool is a free or paid software that provides keyword metrics, like search volume, competitiveness, and cost-per-click (CPC), to help businesses identify the most relevant keywords for their target audience.

Which keyword tool is the most accurate?

Most SEOs will agree that the most accurate keyword tool is a keyword tool for pay-per-click called Google Keyword Planner. People believe Google Keyword Planner is the most accurate because the data comes directly from Google, the largest search engine in the world.

How do I choose the best keyword research tool for me?

You can help your business choose the best keyword research tool for its needs with these tips:

  • Outline your budget
  • Determine your tool needs
  • Demo your top tool choices
  • Get your team’s feedback on the tools

The biggest step you can take is getting hands-on experience with the different applications available. If you’re looking at a paid keyword tool, many offer free trials or discounted trials that you can use to experience the software first-hand.

If you’re stuck between tools, check out some of our tool comparisons below:

How do I find the best keywords with keyword research tools?

You can find the best keywords with keyword research tools by:

  • Evaluating the keyword’s metrics, like its search volume and competitiveness
  • Researching the keyword’s relevancy to your business and its products or services
  • Determine the keyword’s search intent

For more information on this topic, check out our walkthrough on how to choose the best keywords.